The second chapter of Business Adventures by John Brooks was all about the Ford Edsel (here are my thoughts on chapter 1). The car that had an immaculate launch into absolute failure. John Brooks once again brings to life the story of the Edsel like one told in the forbidden fiction department at the library. The Edsel launch is incredibly interesting when you start to think about the user research that went into the launch, the human nature to ignore all that deep user research, and the amazing value that is added to launching new products when small markets are approached before the national markets. Mastering a single market and slowly adding more markets is something that has served Tesla well, strategically picking the right locations to sell and a limited model selection.
Ford’s approach to building an Edsel dealer network and generating interest in the car is almost the exact opposite of the way Tesla has approached this problem. I personally found it hilarious how they struggled to make data driven decisions in the same way that companies today still struggle with it, and those that don’t struggle with it generally perform better.